Single Review: Scissor Sisters – ‘Fire With Fire’

Many artists, when putting out their first album will have moderate to reasonable success, with their second album doing a bit better, maybe christening them a household name – Plan B, Lily Allen, the Kaiser Chiefs etc, etc. all conform to this pattern. But what about artists who go the other way, when their second album fails to match the success of their first?

The Scissor Sisters’ was such an act, you see – back in 2004, they released their eponymous début album which spent a fair few weeks atop the Irish and the UK Albums charts whilst happily going platinum… seven times. But their second coming: 2006’s ‘Ta-Dah!’, didn’t fair so well, sure it reached #1 in Ireland and UK once again, but it’s lacklustre singles (albeit the massive lead single and UK #1 ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’) left a lot to be desired. They’d gone backwards.

It came as no surprise then, that when the Scissor Sister’s announced they were back in the recording studio, another year later, Jake Shears ended up walking out and taking a long holiday in the back-roads and night-clubs of Berlin, to gain ‘musical inspiration’, because rushing out another album after another hastened two years of writing was clearly diminishing his creativity and his friendship with the rest of the group’s members.

So now, four years after the release of ‘Ta-Dah!’, the American five-piece is back with a brand spanking new album full of ‘sexual and super-sleazy’ songs. But on hearing ‘Fire With Fire’, you’d think you’d been slightly mis-led – this is neither sexual nor sleazy. Instead it’s an uplifting, euphoric, anthemic, true-to-life tale about rising up against the odds and fighting “fire with fire”. So it’s got a good message, and it’s got vocal hooks, but does it have that ‘something’ that songs released at this time of year need?

Well, its certainly a deceptive song, starting as a ballad with Jake’s vocals sounding much like that of a young Elton John’s, the piano track a warming accompaniment. But it’s how the song evolves slowly from a ballad into a fiery dance track that makes this song special, with a fists-in-the-air chorus and flawless production. Clearly being influenced by a bit of U2, Elton John, and elements is Take That added for good measure, this song should remind the world that the Scissor Sister’s aren’t through with giving you a good time just yet, and this time they do feel like dancing.

There’s even a hint of U2 in the video as well:


So fear not, their second album may have been [was most definitely] a slip-up, but with a bit of single-choosing savvy, ‘Fire With Fire’ will have many successful follow-ups, and will see the group back at the top of their game.

So there, Jake Shears has proved, sometimes all you need is a good night out being reckless, having fun, getting hammered… don’t act like you don’t know what I’m on about.

Rating: 5.0 STARS

Download: June 21, 2010 (OUT NOW).

Featured Album: ‘Night Work’

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